Monday, January 15, 2007

Rookie Watch Begins

Ah, rookies. Like being set up on a blind date with someone named "Candy," the rookie ballplayer offers a world of promise.

Alan Schwarz at offers a look at the "Majors' best rookies (not named Matsuzaka)" (for whom Schwarz predicts at least 16 wins with a 3.20 ERA "for a postseason contender"—glad to see expectations aren't running amok):

  • 1. Delmon Young, RF, Devil Rays (pride of "Camirillo [sic] HS"!)
  • 2. Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals
  • 3. Matt Garza, RHP, Twins
  • 4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies
  • 5. Tim Lincecum, RHP, Giants

And for the Schadenfreude-minded, Schwarz updates us on former Dodger super-prospect Joel Guzman:

Cold Plate Special: Joel Guzman, D-Rays
This former Dominican bonus baby once made scouts drool more than padded bleachers. A do-it-all slugging shortstop with the Dodgers, Joel Guzman never developed much after that and wound up being traded to Tampa Bay last July as a mid-range prospect going south. He's still immense (6-foot-5, 250 pounds), just 22 and has as much raw power as any young player you'll find. Yet problems with plate discipline and inside stuff have handcuffed him at the higher levels, and he looks more like the Ruben Rivera than much else.

Can Ned dodge the bullet of trading Guzman? (shakes Magic 8-Ball) ASK AGAIN LATER

UPDATE: Keith Law profiles Gordon and other prospects here.